Daily Event for October 19, 2006

October 19, 1942 after a long and valiant struggle the crew of USS O'Brien DD-415 finally had to give up. She had been hit by a torpedo fired from the Japanese submarine I-19 on Sept. 15. In the same attack the USS Wasp CV-7 was damaged and ultimately scuttled and the battleship North Carolina BB-55 was also damaged.

O'Brien, while badly damaged, made port at Espiritu Santo on the 16th for temporary repairs. She then sailed for Noumea, New Caledoina for more repairs. The ship's hull required extensive repairs to bring her back up to combat readiness, much more extensive than could be carried out in the Pacific islands so the decision was made to send her to Pearl Harbor.

She set sail from Suva, Fiji on Oct. 16, but soon it became apparent she was in trouble. She was taking on water at an alarming rate and the nearest port was Pago Pago, Samoa. The crew made the best effort to keep her afloat, but on the 18th the bottom opened up and soon she was abandoned and sank below the waves. The entire crew was removed before she went under. The O'Brien sailed over 3,000 miles since she had been torpedoed which is a testament to the skill, courage and determination of those men on board.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

USS O'Brien DD-415.